Obama Arrives in Japan to Shore Up Relations

President will be in Asia for a week
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2009 6:18 AM CST
President Obama shakes hands Japanese officials in Tokyo Friday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – President Obama arrived in Japan today to open his weeklong summit in Asia. At a news conference with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Obama acknowledged that relations with Tokyo have been strained and agreed that it's time to modernize the nations' 50-year-old treaty. "Our effort will be focused on revitalizing that friendship,” he said. The newly elected Democratic Party has sought a more "equal" partnership with the US, notes the New York Times.

Hatoyama confirmed that Japan will no longer refuel supply ships for Afghanistan in the Indian Ocean, but he said the nation would help with noncombat operations such as rebuilding schools, notes AP. He also pledged cooperation on issues such as climate change and nuclear proliferation. Obama will give a major address on US-Asia relations tomorrow.